“I declare an interest. I have been a Formula One fan since I was a boy, inspired by watching the legendary Ayrton Senna race. Indeed when the quintessentially British question “what team do you support?” comes up in small talk, those expecting a football team instead get my answer of “McLaren”. And I would argue there has been no greater British sporting success than Lewis Hamilton winning six world championships (and counting!). As the MP for Buckingham, to represent the southern half of Silverstone circuit (which crosses over both Buckinghamshire and Northamptonshire) is an incredibly special honour.
But Formula One, and motorsport in general, is much more significant than the way I choose to spend so many weekends a year watching racing. It is a major British success story. Seven of the ten current F1 teams are UK based. Silverstone is without question one of the most iconic race tracks in the world, up with Monza, Spa-Francorchamps and Suzuka.
I cannot put it better than F1 CEO Chase Carey’s comments last year, as Silverstone secured an all important new contract to host the British Grand Prix through to at least 2024, who he said: “Today, Formula 1 is a global sport, held on five continents, watched by an audience of over 500 million fans around the world and our aim is to grow this number by bringing the sport we love to new countries, while also maintaining its roots: Silverstone and the British Grand Prix are an integral part of that vision.”
Last year, with 351,000 people attending the British Grand Prix over the race weekend, 141,000 on race day alone, it goes without saying how important Silverstone is for not just the local economy, but the British economy as a whole.” Continue reading.
Greg Smith MP